Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What we can learn from APPLES!

By Laura Eldredge

My previous post this month talked about learning experiences with farms and apple orchards ... whether you can actually take a field trip, or bring the experience into the classroom.

Let's talk about how the learning can continue as we focus on a teacher's favorite fruit ... APPLES!

photo of: PreK+K Sharing: What we Learn from Apples

APPLE Literacy

Oh, as far as books go ... there are LOTS of great ones to choose from! Here is one selection you can use to teach children about the apple life cycle. The book "How do Apples Grow?" by Betsy Maestro discusses and colorfully illustrates how an apple grows from a bud, to a flower and into a delicious apple.

A couple of other favorites?  How about:

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Up, Up, Up! It's Apple-picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg


Graphing, estimating, counting, patterning ... young children can use apples to have fun practicing these math concepts.

One fun ideas is to read the book "Ten Apples Up On Top" by Dr.  Seuss.  Then, take a headshot picture of each child and have print them.  Each child can glue the picture of themselves onto a piece of paper, or use the free printable sheet below.

photo of: How Many Apples up on Top Printable

Give each child a collection of multi-colored apple cutouts or stickers. Help children identify a pattern with the colored apples and have them repeat the pattern as they glue the apples on top of their picture.   Finish the project by having the child count how many apples are on top of their head, and writing under each picture “Sarah has 8 apples on top!

More math favorites?  How about ...

photo of: Apple Taste Test Graph on the Bulletin Board at PreK + K Sharing
Apple taste test GRAPH

APPLE Science

There are so many ways to explore the concepts of science with apples ... using senses of sight, sound, smell and taste (yum!).  One of my favorite activities (that the children look forward to every year) is learning how apple cider is made from apples. Children can observe and experiment with how apples turn from one form to another (a solid to a liquid). 

We talk about things that we can make to eat from apples (applesauce, pies, etc) -- and how apple juice and apple cider are made differently (apple juice is made from apples that are skinned, cooked and filtered - apple cider is made from whole raw apples that are compressed). 

photo of: Apple processor at school for Apple Studies Unit

I cut up different types of apples into slices and put them into the juicer (skin, seeds and all).  The children gather around and watch as the apples are compressed and juice comes out on one side and the skin and apple pulp comes out on the other.  Each child gets to sample - and we talk about how it smells and tastes.

More science favorites? How about ...

Apple observation:  Observe changes to apples when they are cut and exposed to the air.

Make discovery bottles out of seeds:  Cut open different seeded fruits - scoop out and compare the different types of seeds.  All them to dry and put into discovery bottles for further observation experimentation (which are largest, which are loudest, what colors are the seeds, etc).

photo of: Comparison of Seeds: Science for PreK + K Sharing


APPLE Round-Up

There are SO many ways to explore apples!  For more apple-inspired ideas, do an "APPLE" search on SEEDS idea search:

Or check out our "APPLE" Pinterest board for ideas from around the web!

photo of: Pinterest Board on Topic of Apples via PreK+K Sharing

Late breaking interruption from the editor. I just had a little roundUP of Apple goodies, including some Apple bulletin boards that would be another series of inspiration on this theme. Click here to go over to RainbowsWithinReach.

photo of: Apple Projects for Back to School (Preschool thru Kindergarten)
RoundUP of Apple Ideas

Laura Eldredge is a teacher and curriculum coordinator at a NAEYC accredited early childhood program in Connecticut. She also co-founded the website The SEEDS Network, as a way to provide early childhood professionals with ideas and resources that support them in their quest to provide quality care and education to our youngest learners. She blogs at

1 comment:

  1. Lots of great apple ideas and some of my favorite apple themed books! :)


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